If there is one thing history has told us, consistently, it is that on major calls, Jeremy Corbyn is usually correct. Apartheid when the Conservatives were unbelievably racist and calling for Mandela’s head. Not arming Saddam Hussein in the 1980’s when we did. Iraq X 2, Syria X 3 now, Afghanistan, Libya…the list goes on and on. It is worth pointing out that many hysterically criticising Jeremy Corbyn now, were very much wrong about those big calls. Not only that, but Corbyn was often mocked and derided for the stance he took. So that we are all clear, given the noise created around Corbyn’s response, I would implore people to read what he actually said. Here is the official transcript from Hansard. CLICK HERE FOR SOURCE:
“I thank the Prime Minister for advance sight of her statement and echo her words about the service of our emergency and public services.
“The attack in Salisbury was an appalling act of violence. Nerve agents are abominable if used in any war. It is utterly reckless to use them in a civilian environment. This attack in Britain has concerned our allies in the European Union, NATO and the UN, and their words of solidarity have strengthened our position diplomatically. Our response as a country must be guided by the rule of law, support for international agreements and respect for human rights. When it comes to the use of chemical weapons on British soil, it is essential that the Government work with the United Nations to strengthen its chemical weapons monitoring system and involve the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
“The Prime Minister said on Monday:
““either this was a direct act by the Russian state…or the Russian Government lost control of their potentially catastrophically damaging nerve agent and allowed it to get into the hands of others.”—[Official Report, 12 March 2018; Vol. 637, c. 620-21.]
“Our response must be decisive, proportionate and based on clear evidence. If the Government believe that it is still a possibility that Russia negligently lost control of a military-grade nerve agent, what action is being taken through the OPCW with our allies? I welcome the fact that the police are working with the OPCW.
“Has the Prime Minister taken the necessary steps under the chemical weapons convention to make a formal request for evidence from the Russian Government under article IX(2)? How has she responded to the Russian Government’s request for a sample of the agent used in the Salisbury attack to run their own tests? Has high-resolution trace analysis been run on a sample of the nerve agent, and has that revealed any evidence as to the location of its production or the identity of its perpetrators?
“Can the Prime Minister update the House on what conversations, if any, she has had with the Russian Government? While suspending planned high-level contacts, does she agree that is essential to retain a robust dialogue with Russia, in the interests of our own and wider international security?
“With many countries speaking out alongside us, the circumstances demand that we build an international consensus to address the use of chemical weapons. We should urge our international allies to join us in calling on Russia to reveal without delay full details of its chemical weapons programme to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. It is, as we on the Labour Benches have expressed before, a matter of huge regret that our country’s diplomatic capacity has been stripped back, with cuts of 25% in the last five years. It is—[Interruption.]”
“Order. The right hon. Gentleman must be heard. There will be adequate opportunity for colleagues on both sides of the House to put questions. Members must be heard.”
“I could not understand a word of what the Foreign Secretary just said, but his behaviour demeans his office.
“It is in moments such as these that Governments realise how vital strong diplomacy and political pressure are for our security and national interest. The measures we take have to be effective, not just for the long-term security of our citizens but to secure a world free of chemical weapons. Can the Prime Minister outline what discussions she has had with our partners in the European Union, NATO and the UN and what willingness there was to take multilateral action? While the poisonings of Sergei and Yulia Skripal are confronting us today, what efforts are being made by the Government to reassess the death of Mr Skripal’s wife, Liudmila, who died in 2012, and the deaths of his elder brother and son in the past two years?
“We have a duty to speak out against the abuse of human rights by the Putin Government and their supporters, both at home and abroad, and I join many others in this House in paying tribute to the many campaigners in Russia for human rights, justice and democracy in that country. We must do more to address the dangers posed by the state’s relationship with unofficial mafia-like groups and corrupt oligarchs. We must also expose the flows of ill-gotten cash between the Russian state and billionaires who become stupendously rich by looting their country and subsequently use London to protect their wealth. We welcome the Prime Minister today clearly committing to support the Magnitsky amendments and implementing them as soon as possible, as Labour has long pushed for.
“Yesterday Nikolai Glushkov, a Russian exile who was close friends with the late oligarch Boris Berezovsky, was found dead in his London home. What reassurances can the Prime Minister give to citizens of Russian origin living in Britain that they are safe here?
“The events in Salisbury earlier this month are abominable and have been rightly condemned across the House. Britain has to build a consensus with our allies, and we support the Prime Minister in taking multilateral and firm action to ensure that we strengthen the chemical weapons convention and that this dreadful, appalling act, which we totally condemn, never happens again in our country.”
That, according to those previously proven wrong re major calls, it is controversial that Jeremy Corbyn is basically asking us to to learn from history and follow international law, go through the UN and act on the basis of factual evidence, says more about THEM than it does about Jeremy Corbyn. I am not for one minute suggesting they are not entitled to their view, or to disagree with Jeremy Corbyn if it is something they feel strongly about. What I am saying is that why would the UK not do as he suggests, given his track record on such matters, and given the international laws we are surely meant to abide by?
I would ask that people re-read Corbyn’s response above, and point out what they think is unreasonable, and why. I would also remind every one that Jeremy Corbyn is on the Privy Council; this means he has been vetted to the nth degree by the UK Secret Services, and has access to top-level secrets and National Security information. He was made ‘Right Honourable’ by the Queen. These things don’t, and can’t, happen unless that person satisfies some of, if not the, best security teams on earth. Which, of course, is why all the rubbish, abuse, bullying and character assassinations re Corbyn being a terrorist sympathiser/racist/sexist/an informant or whatever the right wing & media want to label him as that particular day, is just that-complete rubbish and outright lies. It is absurd.
Jeremy Corbyn is also often accused of not being patriotic. This definition of patriotism from the accusers is a strange one. Patriotism to me is wanting the very best for British people, and the International Community. It is about following the rule of International Law and treaties we signed up to; otherwise, how can we ever criticise others if we do not practice what we preach? Where possible, it is about seeking diplomatic solutions and using force only as a last, not first, response. It is about seeking peace, not war. Not perpetuating imperialism and colonialism. It is about being proud of our nation, yes, but because of us leading the way on progressive and inclusive actions and policies. It is not about looking to divide and conquer; or distracting by mud-slinging at others, or using the media and commentators to project a narrative that you want people to believe, rather than the truth. How is ‘patriotism’ the opposite of those things?!
The choice to me is clear: back someone who has been consistently, historically correct (almost always in the face of the kind of hysteria he faces now), and follow evidence and International Law. Doing this in no way means you are condoning or supporting the alleged perpetrators; surely it is just common sense?! Is that not how you or I would wish to be treated were we accused of something serious? That is absolutely not the same as supporting and condoning any country, person, regime or deplorable act. When are we going to learn from history?
As a means to try and provide information you may not have seen, and for the purposes of balance, I include links below to articles that approach things from different angles, so that you can make your own mind up. I do not/Clwyd South Labour Party does not condone or condemn the following articles, they are just provided for information:
Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and Rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010. Here is his take on events (CLICK HERE).
George Eaton is the Political Editor of The New Statesman. This is his response (CLICK HERE).
Séamus Martin is a veteran journalist who was the Irish Times’ Moscow correspondent during the transition from the Soviet Union. You can read his opinion (CLICK HERE).
John Rentoul is Chief Political Commentator for The Independent, and visiting professor at King’s College, London. He is closely associated with Labour from the Blair/Brown days mainly. This is what he has to say (CLICK HERE).
In the context of the outcry from the Conservatives and their previous smear attempts against Corbyn and Russian individuals, despite donors to the Tories obtaining British citizenship, it will be interesting to see whether the Conservative MPs/Party, who collectively have received £820,000 in donations (CLICK HERE) from the aforementioned, will now hand this money back? Will the mainstream media, en masse, make this a huge issue? Or will the right and the mainstream media continue to try and re-frame someone who has been consistently correct in his approach to such difficult issues, and again look to distract us all to suit a well-established narrative? Unfortunately, I think we all know it will be the latter.
In Solidarity with Jeremy Corbyn,
Adam Samuels – Clwyd South Media & Community Engagement Representative